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Not a pleasant flight

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Not a pleasant flight

Old 16th May 2009, 17:59
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast
Age: 57
Posts: 213
Not a pleasant flight

I'm deliberately not mentioning the airline involved in what I'm about to describe but I would be interested to know what other people employed as cabin crew think of the following.
Last night my wife and I travelled on a short flight which took off two hours late.
When we finally boarded the aircraft the boarding music was being played at an ear shattering volume.
One member of the cabin crew in particular was obviously p...ed off. I know this because the heels of her shoes were virtually going through the cabin floor as she stamped up and down the aisle.
The force with which she closed the overhead lockers was unbelievable. The bang above our heads actually made us duck. I know they have to be tightly closed but I've travelled on this type of aircraft many times and this was just ridiculous.
The young lady in question performed the safety demonstration in the middle of the cabin just in front of our seats.
When she finished the bit about fastening and unfastening the seat belt she literally threw it on to an empty seat beside her startling the passenger sitting at the window.
She looked as if she had smiled her face would have cracked.
Incidently despite all her banging one of the overhead lockers flew open as the pilot swung on to the runway.
For some reason he started the take off acceleration before making the turn which meant the aircraft's speed was increasing as we turned right and this was enough to make the locker open.
By the way I'm not suggesting the pilot was in any way in the wrong to start accelerating before turning on to the runway. I know nothing about flying an aircraft and I have perfect faith in those at the front.
Shortly after we left the ground the pilot gave the little ding which indicates the cabin crew can leave their seats.
We were immediately told there would be no cabin service as there had been a change of aircraft.
The young lady at the front then made here way to the back to join her colleague slamming the overhead locker closed as she went.
Then the man sitting across the aisle from us got up to go to the lavatory.
It was immediately apparent he was drunk - and I mean drunk.
When he came back he had to hold on to the seats for support and could not find his seat. I had to point it out to him.
This earned me two pats on the back and a thumbs up sign. He tried to focus on me but appeared to be having difficulty.
About this stage the cabin filled with the smell of fish and chips so I assume the no refreshment announcement did not apply to the cabin crew.
The drunk man was fiddling with his mobile phone during the flight. I heard it bleeping and saw it lit up.
After the 10 minutes to landing announcement one of the cabin crew members had to help him fasten his seatbelt.
She did tell him to turn off the phone but I don't know whether he did or not. I think I still heard it bleeping.
He then sat slumped forward in his seat falling asleep at times.
We landed and my wife and I were among the last to leave. He was still sitting asleep.
Should he have been allowed to board? Shouldn't we have been less aware of bad temper on the part of the cabin crew? Was this really an ideal in flight experience?
I'd be interested to hear your opinions.
frequentflyer2 is offline  
Old 16th May 2009, 18:35
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: LGW
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I think you have experienced what they call the "iceberg theory" meaning that you have no idea of the background as to why that crew member was angry. There could have been many reasons for this, but she should have kept her profesionalisim and kept it out of the cabin. Letting a drunk on board is a difficult one......many people board looking ok, but when the air pressure hits them, they can appear to be way over the limit!!!! Air pressure works in strange ways... the say 1 in the air is the equivelent of having 3 on the ground. If they were pressured with time constraints, then it would be wuicker to keep him on and go, rather than to take another delay and look for his bags when he is offloaded. And for such a short flight, ( i.e BFS-GLA/EDI (20 mins )) It really isn't worth the hassle - not saying its right tho

For such a short flight, yes there would be no refreshments available, but you have to remember, the cabin crew are stuck on that aircraft for many hours, without getting the opportunity for a break, or even getting off to buy food, so yes, they are entitled to eat and drink aven when there is no service to the pax. They do need to eat also. They could have been on that aircraft for 8 hrs before you came on. But if the service was shoddy, write to the airline concerned, and voice your concerns.
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Old 16th May 2009, 18:38
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Larne, UK
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everyone has bad days in their careers...

was it a 737 or a 319 you eventually got on? If its a 737 no doubt that crew member is fed up of their aircraft going tech, as the 737 fleet of the airline i think you flew with is falling apart at the minute..
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Old 16th May 2009, 18:59
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If you are talking about EZY, their 737s are only 6 yrs old!! Hardly falling apart!!!! Try flying on BA's 15 year old 737s. Now THAT is falling apart!!!
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Old 16th May 2009, 19:12
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Try flying on BA's 15 year old 737s. Now THAT is falling apart!!!
Cabins are tired and shoddy, never been tech once with them though??? Cabin crew have always been above the mark.
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Old 16th May 2009, 19:14
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the lunatic fringe
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Try flying on BA's 15 year old 737s. Now THAT is falling apart!!!
So are you saying that flying on BA's 737s is dangerous because they are "falling apart"?

Falling apart is a serious accusation.

If they are falling apart I think you must inform the CAA that BA does not service, or maintain the 737s. Indeed I look forward to most of the 737, 747, 757, 767 fleets all being grounded as they must all also be "falling apart" as they are also largely over 15 years old. In fact most of the worlds airline fleet needs to be grounded, as they must also all be "falling apart". Clearly you have amazing insight and powers of observation. Or your post, THAT IS rubbish
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Old 16th May 2009, 20:16
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ok, forgive the expression "falling apart" i didnt think people would actually think i meant bits falling off..., ill reword it... "getting old" ive lost count of the number of different 737s that have needed an airstart due to APU problems in the last month, usually it wud be the odd a/c every month, but in the last month theres been atleast 4 different a/c (KA, KG (which also had a problem with engine 2, was u/s for a day or 2, JX and KF) which seem to take it in turns to have problems

but thats slightly going off-topic now, i only brought it up as i knew of EZY having a/c problems on some of the BFS routes
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Old 16th May 2009, 21:27
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L337 I think you know exactly what was meant, loose trim and shoddy seats etc. Like the inside of a high mileage car. Your reply is well O.T.T.

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Old 16th May 2009, 21:41
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Amsterdam
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You and your wife have had a bad experience - it does happen.

There could be many reasons for the attitude of the cabin crew member - could have been forced to do extra sectors despite many long delays throughout the day - different crew members react differently to these situations. She could have been leant on heavily to accept an unscheduled night stop when she was expecting to spend the night out with her boyfriend/mates..who knows..? But it is unprofessional and shouldn't happen.

As far as the piloting/serviceabilty of the aircraft aspects are concerned it is quite normal to 'take it on the roll' - as long as the speed/angle of the turn is not too high. The apu is not required for a safe flight - quite normal to fly w/o one - just makes the start a bit more involved - no big deal and certainly not an indication of a poorly serviced a/c - unless it happens a lot...

The crew are very often presented with drunk pax who have been allowed to board by the gate staff and as was said above, it's quicker to carry on rather than offload at this stage.

The very cheap fares are possible these days because the crew are squeezed hard on time and meal breaks so at least you don't have to pay a fortune AND have a bad flight.

I'm sorry that the trip wasn't good - you should write to the customer service dept - if they don't know about it they can't do anything.
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Old 16th May 2009, 22:09
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Location: LGW
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Care to explain as to why there are several 737s sitting outside the BA hanger at LGW every morning??? Surely theyy don't just sit there if there's nothing wrong with them...........considering you only have about 6 or 7 left at LGW ......doesn't look very good does it!!!!! lol
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Old 16th May 2009, 22:33
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Could be several reasons..

Cheaper to park them there than elsewhere at KK?

Routine maintenance?

To keep the gates free for early deps?
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Old 16th May 2009, 22:41
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Cabin crew are working longer and longer hours, with more pressure put on them to operate into days off, overtime etc.

Girls heels always make them sound like they're stomping about on the hollow cabin floor!

If it is a 319 you where flying there are two cabin types, the older ones have locker doors that need a bit more of a thump to close than the newer even more plastic types, but the actual variation of the a/c type is subtle enough you might not notice the change.

Like someone said earlier there is a bit of an iceberg theory going on here, if it is indeed U2 that you where flying the said crew member might have had an international (EU) flight before hand, then an a/c change which really is stressful for the cabin crew (not so much flight deck). The Cabin crew would have to prepare one a/c for landing, then get on another prepare that one whilst aware of an ongoing delay and trying to do it as quick as possible.

Second point to the Iceberg theory is that Cabin Crew don't get breaks. Transport is exempt from this. So your cabin crew member might all have been on the go for 11hrs, no break, pressured into overtime and all whilst the company management of said airline is telling the crew your not working hard enough, don't deserve crew food and we'll take a bonus now.

As for the drunk man, unless he's a threat its sometimes better to let them on board than cause more trouble trying to offload them.

Not excusing unprofessional behaviour but perhaps a little more backround info for you. Enjoy your low fares......
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Old 17th May 2009, 01:51
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then an a/c change which really is stressful for the cabin crew (not so much flight deck).
Would you care to explain?
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Old 17th May 2009, 08:19
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Yes..I thought that too..

Explanation please?
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Old 17th May 2009, 09:47
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If you have an unexpected a/c change that you find out about sometimes 20mins before landing, the crew has to close the bar (sometimes manually counting the whole thing plus cash), clean the aircraft after disembarkation then go to the other a/c and possibly clean that as well, all the while carrying out safety duties too. Try this in 20-30 mins and see how stressed you feel. Plus not all crew have a lot of experience in this, and if your purser is not a great organizer, th whole thing could end up in a huge chaos.

Try this in the heat of summer in say Alicante, without air conditioning (save fuel), in the middle of an 11 hour duty, looking forward to a nice minimum rest that has just been reduced by 2 hours due to the delay you had no control over, not even getting paid for the overtime and try to smile and be pleasant afterwards.

I agree tht professional atitude should be displayed at all times, but please understand that cabin crew are just regular humans, not super-humans. I, at least try my very best at all tmes, and if I do not provide excellent service on occasion, trust me it is not down to lack of my skills.

And if this airline involved is indeed a low-cost airline, I am afraid you might just get an overworked and "low-cost" cabin crew/service. You, as a "low-cost" airline pax did not pay enough for the crew to be looked after well, or at least some airline management likes to think so.
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Old 17th May 2009, 09:59
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Yup - know all that - and I know it's hard, but the presumption that what f/d have to do for a late a/c change is less stressful is a little...well, presumptious.
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Old 17th May 2009, 12:13
  #17 (permalink)  
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Location: Belfast
Age: 57
Posts: 213
It wasn't Ezy it was Flybe and the aircraft was a Dash 8 400 series.
The drunk man certainly wasn't violent but he was fiddling with his mobile phone during the flight and at times it was not off as it should have been.
This was a concern because it has been said many times that mobile phones can interfere with aircraft systems. That is part of the safety briefing at the start of the flight.
On the other hand I suppose it could have been one with a flight safe mode for certain functions.
But it did bleep as if text messages were being received.
I do have another question about this flight but I'll put it on the passengers and slf forum.
frequentflyer2 is offline  
Old 17th May 2009, 15:12
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Care to explain as to why there are several 737s sitting outside the BA hanger at LGW every morning??? Surely theyy don't just sit there if there's nothing wrong with them...........considering you only have about 6 or 7 left at LGW ......doesn't look very good does it!!!!! lol
I believe BA has several parked for the downturn at the moment - also they are returning many to the lessors (as the airbus replaces them at LGW) so they will be in to "de-BA" them.

They also have more than 6 or 7 left.... 19 734's (BA's aircraft) and 3 due back to lessors at the end of 2009 - think that makes 22
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Old 18th May 2009, 06:12
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Also, you should realise that it isn't the SAME few 737's outside the hangar. They are there for routine maintenance. This morning when I drove past, there was an A319 there too. You're theory is pants.

As a side note, the condition of the BA 737's is a lot better than the EZY 737's. Having operated on both, I'd much rather be on a 15 yr old BA 734 than an 5 yr old EZY 737. Of course both pale in significance to the 319 It's just down to how the airline's look after their a/c. EZY have their planes in the sky a lot longer and no cleaning after each turnaround except that done by the crew. BA have longer turnaround times which will included a proper clean and so stay in a better condition longer
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Old 18th May 2009, 08:27
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: SE Spain
Age: 74
Posts: 31
I am still amazed that when you pay less to fly than just about any other mode of transport that people still expect 1950's BOAC service from Cabin Crew. I regularly fly Spain to UK on Ryan, EasyJet, Monarch, Air Berlin, BA etc. I expect no more service than I would get on a bus or long distance coach.

I recently flew Spain to UK to San Francisco to Auckland to Christchurch to Auckland to Brisbane to Perth to Singapore to UK to Spain stopping over at all destinations cost 1300 or 130 a leg to go around the world. No doubt if I had tried and used different destinations I could have done it cheaper.

"Simples" you get what you pay for. Cheap and often not so cheerful or spend out and go First or Business.

Bob (Cattle Class Regular)
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